5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family How men can have a healthy 2019 Syria is caught up in a civil war brought about after President Bashar Assad violently cracked down on a popular uprising that began 16 months ago. Activists say the conflict has killed more than 17,000 people.Tlass was a confidant of Assad and son of a former defense minister. His defection buoyed Western powers and anti-regime activists, who expressed hope that other high-ranking defections would follow.Last week, Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, followed suit and defected, announcing that he was joining the revolution.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments Share 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center PARIS (AP) – French President Francois Hollande confirmed on Tuesday that Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, one of the highest ranking officials to defect from the Syrian regime, is in Paris.Tlass was reported to have fled Damascus earlier this month, but it’s the first time his presence in France has been confirmed by authorities.Hollande nodded when asked if Tlass was in the French capital during a press conference with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, but he did not specify where in Paris he was staying. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories
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5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories Comments Share ErrorOK ErrorOKKim is scheduled to travel to South Africa on Wednesday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) – World Bank President Jim Young Kim arrived in Ivory Coast on Tuesday to begin his first overseas visit since being appointed in April.The Bank said in a statement that during his visit, Kim will meet with President Alassane Ouattara and senior cabinet members as well as women leaders and ex-combatants taking part in a World Bank-financed training program.Kim said he chose Africa for his first visit to recognize “the priority given by the continent’s governments to faster growth and less poverty.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 3 international destinations to visit in 2019
How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Once deployed, Iron Beam would add another element of protection to Israel’s multilayered missile defense system.Israel is developing a new generation of its “Arrow” system to intercept long-range ballistic missiles in space. It also is developing a system to intercept medium-range missiles and has deployed “Iron Dome,” which shoots down short-range rockets.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober JERUSALEM (AP) – A state-owned Israeli arms company says it will unveil a new laser-defense system next month that will be capable of shooting down short-range rockets and mortar fire.Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. says the “Iron Beam” system will use a “directed high energy laser beam” to intercept incoming projectiles fired from short distances. The system is to be displayed at the Singapore Air Show next month and is expected to be operational next year. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P The Johannesburg Tourism Conference and Events Bureau (CEB) have been awarded a series of bids with an estimated economic benefit to the city of over US$28.5 million.Johannesburg was chosen as the city to host the 59th CIC General Assembly due to its unique wildlife ranching model, demonstrating its international leadership and sustainable use.In 2012 Johannesburg will also host the International Small Business Congress and the Europe Africa Business Summit. From the success Johannesburg achieved with hosting the FIFA World Cup 2010 the city was awarded the bid to host the World Anti Doping Congress in 2013 highlighting the confidence FIFA has placed in Johannesburg’s ability to host major events.The CEB continues to drive Johannesburg as a leading global destination for business tourism and is prepared to supply all the necessary advice and solutions relating to meetings, conventions, exhibitions and incentives.Another achievement for Johannesburg was to be chosen as the host destination for the 18th agility World Championships (AWC) in 2013, which is the first time the annual event will be held outside Europe. Later this year Johannesburg will be hosting a number of high profile events including the Tenpin Bowling World Championships to be held in November, while the fourth annual Mr. Gay World Competition will take place in 2012.“We are certainly on there on the international campaign and bidding trail, demonstrating that Johannesburg is open for business, with the capacity to host events across a spectrum of size, scope and price,” Johannesburg Tourism Company chief executive Lindiwe Kwele said.“As the continent’s leading hub for business, fashion, music and the creative arts, it’s appropriate that we are hosting a diverse spectrum of events which address these very diverse industry sectors,” Mr Kwele said.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Crew “were committed to carrying out their task of piloting the aircraft to the very end”, Air France said as it put to bed investigations into the 2009 AF 477 accident this week. Receiving the final French Accident Investigation Bureau report on the Airbus A330 that went down over the Atlantic in less than four minutes on 1 June up to three years ago en route from Rio to Paris, Air France revealed staff were “properly trained and qualified” while aircraft system were “functioning in accordance with design and met” proper certification standards.The airline explained the analysis found that the incident that saw up to 228 passengers and crew perish with the aircraft was a result of “several factors”, with staff unable to “apply the appropriate action” once systems began to malfunction.“The BEA report describes a crew who acted in line with the information provided by the cockpit instruments and systems, and the aircraft behaviour as it was perceptible in the cockpit: instrument indications, triggering and stoppage of the alarms, aerodynamic noise, aircraft vibrations,” a statement from the airline read.“In this deteriorated aircraft cockpit environment, the crew, with the skills of one flight captain and two first officers, were committed to carrying out their task of piloting the aircraft to the very end.”Paying respect to the memory of passengers and crew members who lost their lives in the accident, Air France added that it would focus on improving flight safety procedures and hopes aeronautical and air transport players will adhere to safety recommendations included in the final report.Recommendations include:organization of back-up and improvement of communication systems, instrumentation, alarm systems and operational logic and aircraft protection laws, crew training and information programmes and resources to be provided by the manufacturers, authorities and airlines, particularly in specific situations with an element of surprise, the stall recovery procedures having been modified since the accident, analysis and sharing of feedback within the aeronautical industry.
Source = Jump Tours One day after claiming the title of Favourite Tasmanian Activity at the TNT Magazine GoldenBackpack Awards in Sydney for the second year in a row, Jump Tours Founder & Managing DirectorGreg Price went on to win the personal accolade of Tourism Minister’s Young Achiever of the YearAward at the 2012 Tasmanian Tourism Awards in Hobart on Friday. In announcing the Young Achiever of the Year, Tasmanian Tourism Minister Scott Bacon said “Greg’spassion for Tasmanian tourism has resulted in tremendous success and should serve as an inspirationto others. His backpacker tour business is a standout in the youth market, winning TNT’s GoldenBackpack Award in both 2011 & 2012, after being a finalist in 2009 and 2010. Jump Tours Managing Director Greg Price was delighted to win two awards in as many days. “Takingout these two big titles is fantastic and really helps put both Jump Tours and Tasmania on the map,”Mr Price said. “We’re determined to get Tasmania ‘front of mind’ for young travellers and will pushforward in our quest to market Tasmania as the hottest new ‘off the beaten track’ destination, wherevisitors can gain maximum bragging rights over their friends back home.” Mr Price said that Jump Tours will build on the momentum created by the award wins and the launchof the company’s multi-lingual iPhone app in July. “I’m considering a range of options to expand ourproduct range at Jump Tours. From the beginning Jump was built as a brand that represents acelebration of youth while getting maximum bang for buck – this won’t change. We’re looking ataddressing some tough tourism challenges with innovative solutions.” Tourism Australia figures consistently show that backpackers stay longer, spend more and visit moreregional destinations than other visitors. Mr Price said that Jump Tours embraces these travellersalong with the burgeoning Asian markets: “With hundreds of millions of Asian consumers rapidlygaining middle class incomes, the growth potential for a destination that offers abundant naturalbeauty and fantastic food and wine is enormous. Tasmania is on the cusp of a boom – we have tograb the opportunities with both hands!”Jump Tours was founded by Greg Price in his home state of Tasmania in 2007 following a career ininvestment banking. Greg intended to create a tour company that would entice more younginternational travellers to visit Tasmania, creating products that emphasise fun while minimisingexpensive and unnecessary inclusions. Jump’s alternative tour offerings allow customers to be “guestDJ” on the tour bus, recognising that young people would rather listen to great tunes than too muchcommentary. It’s for the young and the young at heart and opens a Tasmanian experience up to awhole new world of curious travellers.
Source = Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has been honoured as Hotel Group of the Year at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards 2012. At the gala event in Paris, Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer, Carlson, and Kurt Ritter, president & chief executive officer, Rezidor, received the prestigious trophy for the group’s outstanding achievements in four complementing areas:development, innovation, human resources, and business performance.”The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group launched earlier this year in January. To be awarded as the world’s best hotel company in our first year is a great honour. It is a fantastic compliment to our team-work around the globe. Our dedicated people have proven that our Yes I Can! philosophy resonates around the world – a huge thank you to all our 80,000 employees in 81 countries,”said Trudy Rautio and Kurt Ritter.The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is a strategic partnership of Carlson, one of the largest privately held hospitality companies worldwide, and Rezidor, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide. The group’s portfolio features more than 1,300 hotels and a powerful set of brands (Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites by CarlsonSM, Hotel Missoni, and Regent). Through a number of joint revenue activities, Carlson Rezidor aims to generate more than US$ 400 million in additional revenue and a RevPAR Index increase of more than nine points by 2015.In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the group’s success can be credited to the leadership of Kurt Ritter, Rezidor’s president & chief executive officer. Managing the company since 1989, Swiss-born Ritter has created an entrepreneurial, dynamic and innovative group. Throughout the industry, he is admired for his charisma, his genuine belief in hospitality, and his straightforward approach. Ritter will retire at the end of the year – succeeded by Wolfgang M. Neumann – and will serve as a strategic advisor to Carlson during 2013.The Worldwide Hospitality Awards were created by Georges Panayotis, president and chief executive officer, MKG Group, as an international competition and opportunity for hotel groups to highlight their exemplary achievements. The jury for the “grand prix” for the Hotel Group of the Year consists of the readers of the renowned trade magazine Hospitality-On.
“We have opened online registration for buyers and are overwhelmed at the level of interest registered so far” he said. The Exchange will be held at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland from May 22-23rd. The South Pacific has long been a popular tourist destination for many international travellers and the region has enjoyed strong steady growth over the past few years. However, the SPTO recognizes that tourism is a very dynamic industry and the need to creatively promote the destination remains a critical part of its mandate. Source = south pacific tourism organisation Mr. Vuidreketi said “The SPTO recognizes and applaud the initiative taken by Pacific Island countries in promoting their destinations through national tourism trade shows. We have also identified the need to have one at a regional level to compliment the initiatives taken at national levels”. The SPTE according to Mr Vuidreketi will be the South Pacific’s largest travel and tourism business-to-business event and is expected to attract the participation of more than 50 international buyers and 16 Pacific Island countries with their respective private sector operators. “SPTE will each year add new and creative elements to attract more buyers and sellers,” he said. “The event aims to bring together regional tourism operators and partners (SELLERS) and International tour operators and wholesalers (BUYERS), through a combination of pre-scheduled appointments and networking opportunities,” he said. He said in the coming day, SPTO will open online registration for exhibitors (sellers) and they remain positive that they will be able to achieve their targeted number of buyers and sellers for the event. He also said that this event is ideal for tourism wholesalers seeking to grow their business into the region and is a unique and cost effective means of learning about travel and tourism in the South Pacific. South Pacific Tourism Organisation Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ilisoni Vuidreketi today announced the launch of the inaugural South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) to be held in Auckland, New Zealand from the 22 – 23 May 2014.
Online travel partnership promotes NSW globallySydney and NSW will be promoted globally through a new one-year strategic partnership between the Expedia Group and Destination NSW.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the exciting new partnership with the Expedia Group, which has 150+ booking sites in more than 70 countries, will result in Sydney and NSW being promoted in priority international markets including the UK, Germany, USA, India, New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia and within Australia.“Expedia is one of the leading online travel agencies globally. This partnership presents wonderful opportunities to further promote Sydney and NSW to increase visitation from our key domestic and international markets,” Mr Ayres said.“More people are coming to Sydney and NSW, with the latest figures showing an increase in visitors, nights and expenditure. This agreement will help to grow our visitor economy and meet our target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.“The partnership will see Destination NSW join Expedia in a minimum of 15 campaigns this financial year across eight markets globally and locally.”Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said Destination NSW has previously partnered with Expedia in both international and domestic markets in individual cooperative campaign activities that have delivered strong results for the State.“Expedia is a well-known and trusted brand operating worldwide. This agreement formalises our partnership and allows us to promote Sydney and NSW as Australia’s premier tourism and events destinations to millions of potential visitors in our priority international markets,” Ms Chipchase said.Noah Tratt, Global Senior Vice President, Expedia Media Solutions said: “We look forward to building on our partnership with Destination NSW with compelling and strategic creative campaigns that raise awareness and inspire more visitors to experience Sydney and NSW.” Learn more hereSource = Destination NSW
Source = eRevMax – Sun Africa Hotels eRevMax expands its footprints in Kenya with Sun Africa HotelsSun Africa Hotels, one of the fastest emerging hotel chains in Kenya, has selected eRevMax to benefit from real-time channel management powered with business intelligence data. Five properties of the group are using Channel Manager Web, a cloud based platform for updating rate and inventory (ARI) across all connected travel channels and maintain real-time availability through pooled inventory. Available on eRevMax’s pioneering hotel operating solution LIVE OS, the application also provides real-time visibility into property level business performance to monitor and improve key metrics like rate, booking production, pace and compliance in a centralized manner.Located at some of the most popular tourist places in Kenya, Sun Africa Hotels manages 8 leisure properties. RateTiger’s 2-way XML connectivity with all leading OTAs in Europe and North America, two of their biggest international markets, will help Sun Africa Hotels to update rates and availabilities across their online distribution channels in real-time ensuring online sales optimization as a part of its growth plan across East Africa region.“We’re one of the fastest growing hotel chains in Kenya and offer some of the finest hotels and lodges in East Africa. With Channel Manager Web by eRevMax we can maintain real-time availability and dynamic pricing based on analytics provided on LIVE OS. This has helped us to improve our online presence by maintaining real-time room availability up to the last inventory across all distribution points in resulting better occupancy,” said Rahul Sood, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive-Africa at Sun Africa Hotels.Stuart Derricott, VP Global Sales at eRevMax commented, “Given that Sun Africa Hotels primarily caters to international guests, along with luxury domestic travellers, it is important for the hotels to be present in all global online sales channels and metasearch sites. Our channel ecosystem has helped their hotels to improve exposure and tap new markets. Backed by the real-time data and analytics they can respond to market dynamics more efficiently, and optimize online revenue.”Channel manager Web by eRevMax, powered with sophisticated analytics, distribution capabilities and interactive reporting dashboard, help hotels make informed decision based on key insights and streamline all aspects of their revenue management for driving better results.Sun Africa HotelsSun Africa Hotels offers the perfect combination of bush and scenic safari holidays with varied choices and the presence of hotels make it simple for travelers to choose. Sun Africa Hotels is an expanding chain of some of the finest hotels and lodges in East Africa offers the highest standards of hospitality and service at all of their hotels and lodges located at the best places in Kenya.8 properties of the Sun Africa Hotels are set amidst the scenic environments of Kenya that influence guests with a memorable holiday experience they will not forget. Sun Africa Hotels offers high quality service in accommodation and conference room facilities at very competitive rates. You will enjoy the tranquil beauty of our private conservation area and its wildlife. We offer an exciting variety of entertainment from traditional dancing to live bands.About eRevMaxeRevMax is a travel technology company that helps hotels to maximise online revenue opportunities through real-time distribution, market intelligence and connectivity solutions. The company provides specifically tailored solutions within its core product brands – RateTiger, RTConnect and LIVE OS.RateTiger product suite offers the industry’s leading ChannelManager for online distribution, Shopper for rate benchmarking and BookingForce to help drive direct bookings from the hotel’s brand.com. RTConnect provides seamless 2-way XML integration of channel management functionality with the hotel’s central systems. LIVE OS offers hotels a single sign-on platform to access multiple applications, while offering technology partners a chance to get in front of hotels allowing greater distribution of promotional opportunities.eRevMax is working closely with over 200 certified channel and technology partners as well as 9000 hotels worldwide helping them increase revenue opportunities and streamline business processes.
Aireon and FlightAware announce Qatar Airways as launch partnerAireon and FlightAware announce Qatar Airways as GlobalBeaconSM launch partnerAireon LLC and FlightAware announced today that Qatar Airways will be the first airline to adopt the new GlobalBeaconSM solution to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) recommendations.The agreement will provide Qatar Airways’ Integrated Operations Centre with minute-by-minute, global tracking of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft by 2018.GlobalBeacon combines FlightAware’s worldwide flight tracking information – – including origin, destination, flight plan route, position, estimated time of arrival – with data from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B aircraft surveillance system, due to be operational in 2018. The solution will provide Qatar Airways with state-of-the-art technology to meet and exceed GADSS requirements and recommendations.“Qatar Airways is a leader in the aviation industry, and their proactive approach to implementing the GADSS recommendations reinforces that point,” said Aireon CEO, Don Thoma. “With a modern fleet of 190 aircraft flying all over the world, across remote and oceanic airspace, Qatar Airways and GlobalBeacon are an ideal match and no new avionics will be required. We’re excited to welcome them as a partner.”Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, both our needs, and our drive to deliver the very best services for our global passengers, are continually evolving. GlobalBeacon will seamlessly integrate with our existing ICAO 2018 compliant flight watch technology (Total Operations System), and further enhance our fleet management by providing updates every minute.“I am proud of Qatar Airways’ leadership position in this vital area of aviation safety and awareness. We will be the first airline in the world to have the capability to use worldwide satellite air surveillance to support our airline operations and to achieve the highest of flight tracking standards ahead of the ICAO 2021 mandate.”Announced by ICAO in March of 2016, GADSS was created to help improve the ability to detect commercial aircraft in remote locations. The key components of GADSS recommend that aircraft report their position to the airline’s operations center at a minimum of once every 15 minutes under normal flight circumstances. However, if an aircraft should become in distress, position reports are then to be provided every minute. GlobalBeacon will provide a permanent minute-by-minute reporting capability, far exceeding the ICAO recommendation.In addition to aircraft tracking and location reporting requirements, GADSS requires aircraft to provide immediate notification of abnormal events, regardless of air traffic unit boundaries and without a degradation of baseline search and rescue services. Further, distressed aircraft status tracking under GADSS can be activated by the pilot, automatically by the aircraft and remotely by the operations control center.“With GlobalBeacon, Qatar Airways is getting the most state-of-the-art solution to meet GADSS recommendations in the industry,” said FlightAware CEO, Daniel Baker. “The adoption of this solution shows their commitment to their customers, employees and international community to help improve airlines and aviation stakeholder’s ability to locate aircraft in distress and improve search and rescue capabilities.”Qatar Airways will also integrate FlightAware’s Firehose application programming interface (API) with their existing visualization tool in their flight operations center. Firehose provides secure TCP-based streaming flight positions and flight status data via a combination of worldwide air traffic control data, ADS-B, Mode S multilateration (MLAT), and aircraft datalink information.Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The constellation will consist of 66 operational low-earth-orbit satellites providing global coverage. The service will also provide Air Navigation Service Providers with global aircraft surveillance capability, and is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety and enable more efficient flight paths.Source = Aireon LLC – FlightAware – Qatar Airways
Destination NSW campaign wins Expedia Media Solutions marketing awardA cooperative marketing campaign to drive visitation to Sydney and regional NSW has won ‘Australia & New Zealand Campaign of the Year’ at the Expedia Media Solutions 2017 Asia Pacific (APAC) Partner Awards.Presented today to Destination NSW’s Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase at the Australia Tourism Exchange (ATE), the Awards acknowledge campaigns that demonstrate innovation, creativity and achievement in travel marketing.Ms Chipchase said the campaign’s success was a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.“For the award-winning campaign, Expedia developed a bespoke digital hub that featured inspirational videos and images alongside recommended hotels, allowing audiences to instantly book their Sydney or regional NSW holiday.”“The campaign was a success in driving strong business leads to featured hotels and travel to Sydney and regional destinations, including the North and South Coast, Hunter, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Orange and the Southern Highlands.”Expedia spokesperson Wendy Olson-Killion said, “Our APAC Partner Award winners demonstrate best in class work in terms of creativity, sophistication and the use of innovative technology. The campaigns showcase how a destination, hotel, airline or travel experience can come to life on our platforms and increase brand awareness, change perceptions or drive demand for our partners.”Destination NSW partners with Expedia Media Solutions several times a year on seasonal campaigns to drive incremental sales to a variety of NSW destinations.The 2016-17 Sydney and Regional NSW in Summer campaign showcased NSW as the ideal holiday and short break destination by promoting the number and diversity of experiences on offer in the State. Destination NSWView the campaign hereSource = Destination NSW
Adam Geneave – Vice President Customer ExperienceWyndham recognised ACE Awards winnersWyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific’s Customer Experience team has been recognised at the 2018 Confirmit ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Awards, which were announced overnight.The team was honoured in the Voice of the Customer, Business Impact and Multi-Channel categories of the awards program, which recognises businesses for their rigorous application of best practices to deliver a world-class customer experience.“Our dedicated Customer Experience team drives a constant focus on enhancing the interactions our customers have with our business by delivering personalised and memorable experiences at every opportunity,” said Adam Geneave, Vice President of Customer Experience at Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.“The team’s passion and commitment to serving our customers is commendable and these awards are excellent recognition of their efforts.”Hosted by Confirmit, the leading global solutions provider for customer experience, voice of the employee and market research, the ACE Awards program attracts nominations from major organisations across the globe, including Virgin Money, Bupa Global, Siemens, Amadeus and more.Wyndham’s Customer Experience team includes 31 staff members covering customer design and delivery, customer insights, customer care, VIP handling and quality assurance.The team has won numerous accolades since its inception in 2015, including the Customer Service Team of the Year – Large Business award at the prestigious Australian Service Excellence Awards (ASEAs) last year.Source = Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific
Out Now, Collette new look Americas BrochureOut Now, Collette new look Americas BrochureCollette has launched their new look ‘The Americas’ 2020-21 brochure with North, Central South America and the Antarctica all included for the first time, totalling 37 unique tours across these spectacular continents.“The new brochure will make it that much easier for travel agents to help travellers plan their trips to this region. We have found that Australian travellers want to get as much out of their long-haul flights and see as much as they can across the Americas and Antarctica, and now all the information is there in one brochure to help them with their research,” said James Hewlett, Head of Marketing for Collette Australia.To launch The Americas 2020-21 brochure, Collette is offering a 10% saving* on their Top 10 Americas tours including favourites: America’s Music Cities; Best of Eastern Canada; Canadian Rockies by Train; Islands of New England; America’s National Parks. As well as popular new tours; Washington DC, Niagara Falls & New York City; Painted Canyons of the West; Bluegrass Country and The Smoky Mountains; and Central/South American tours: Galapagos and Machu Picchu, and Tropical Costa Rica.*Valid for bookings made by 22 August 2019 for departures between 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2021.Visit https://www.gocollette.com/en-AU for bookings and further information.Source = Collette
A new air route will be launched this year offering connections between India and China’s Shandong province. The launch would mark a significant move for Shandong Airlines, which has previously focused on domestic routes and short-haul international services to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. It also operates services to Cambodia.Shandong Airlines will commence a new service from Jinan, the capital of Shandong province and a city of approximately five million people, to New Delhi. Flights will operate twice a week with a stop in Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province.Shandong Airlines is expected to operate the route using its 167-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with a flight time of approximately eight hours, including the stop in Kunming.
Royal Caribbean International officially took delivery of its 23rd ship, Anthem of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D Fain officially received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer in a signing ceremony held in Bremerhaven, Germany. Anthem of the Seas is the world’s most advanced cruise ship and reflects the best of Royal Caribbean’s history of innovating cruise ship design and cruise vacations.“I am very happy to receive Anthem of the Seas from Meyer Werft Yards,” said Richard. “We’ve always broken the mold with each successive ship we build, and Anthem of the Seas is no different. I would like to thank Bernard and the Meyer Werft team for their ongoing partnership in designing and building awe-inspiring ships with us.”“It is wonderful to welcome Anthem of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family of ships,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Just like every Royal Caribbean ship, Anthem of the Seas will deliver to guests its own distinctive set of amazing adventures, whether sailing in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.”Anthem of the Seas will now sail to Southampton, U.K., where the ship will homeport through October and sail to the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. In November, New York Harbor will be Anthem of the Seas’ permanent home, where the ship will sail regularly from Cape Liberty Cruise Port on adventures to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada and New England.Royal Caribbean International also announced the expansion of its deployment in Asia. In 2015, four of its superlative ships Quantum of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will be home-ported in Asia and it has been announced that Ovation of the Seas will join them in 2016. These investments by Royal Caribbean are the most comprehensive for the market in this year and have made Asia one of the most exciting and power-packed hubs for cruise holidays anywhere in the world.
Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Falling Loan Applications Tilt Toward Still-Nascent Recovery Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Barack Obama Capital Economics FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage HARP Home Prices Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-03-07 Ryan Schuette In signs that a stable housing rebound may still be ways off, mortgage applications contracted by 1.2 percent last week, even while the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) offered a still-steady buttress for refinance activity.[IMAGE]The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) found in a weekly survey that mortgage application volume also declined by 10.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.The Purchase Index went up by a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent from last week, while it climbed by 14.7 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis.The four-week moving average dipped by 1.77 percent for the seasonally adjusted Market Index, 0.47 for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, and 2.04 percent for the Refinance Index.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Paul Diggle””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/property-economics/paul-diggle.html, a property economist with consultancy “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, wrote in a note that “”the continued weakness of mortgage applications highlights that there is little chance of significant and sustained house price gains.””Refinance share of mortgage activity plummeted to 77 percent from last week ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest since December last year. Adjustable-rate mortgages scaled up to 5.4 percent from 5 percent of total volume from the week before.He attributed a 9.7-percent rise month-over-month in refinance applications to “”the expanded HARP refinancing scheme”” as government officials continue to deploy broad refi opportunities for the market.The Obama administration announced earlier Tuesday that the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA) would slash refinance premiums to 0.1 percent, estimating that the revisions could impact anywhere from 2 million to 3 million borrowers who refinance their government-backed mortgages.The Capital Economics note coincided with a “”CoreLogic””:http://www.corelogic.com/ index that found prices falling 3.1 percent year-over-year and 1.1 percent in January, which Diggle deflected with analysis that suggests prices rose 0.9 percent month-over-month in lieu of normal seasonal variations.Suggesting that market conditions may keep a hold on the still-nascent recovery, the MBA said that interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages largely remained flat last week, with a marginal decline for the 30-year loan and a slight increase for FHA-insured loans. March 7, 2012 438 Views
Another Countrywide lawsuit has been finalized, with the announcement that “”Syncora Guarantee Inc.””:http://www.syncora.com/ has settled its claims with the company and its affiliates. [IMAGE]Syncora, a subsidiary of “”Syncora Holdings Ltd.””:www.syncora.com/, received $375 million from Countrywide to conclude its litigation against the company.[COLUMN_BREAK]In exchange for the payout, Syncora has agreed to release all claims against Countrywide and “”Bank of America Corporation””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/. An official release about the lawsuit noted that Syncora’s filing originally stemmed from the “”provision of insurance in relation to five second lien transactions,”” as well as “”claims in relation to nine other first and second lien transactions.””The statement went on to state that in wrapping up the case, Syncora transferred assets to subsidiaries of BofA, and accordingly, BofA “”transferred or agreed to transfer”” certain preferred shares, surplus notes, and other securities held by Syncora and its parent company.Since posting its first-quarter financials, Syncora has reportedly “”remediated several credits with total cash disbursements . . .of approximately $96 million.”” Comments from Syncora following the release of first-quarter data expressed the company’s expectation that the “”materially positive effect”” of the surplus would be reflected in its second-quarter financial statements.In closing, however, Syncora admitted that it continues to face “”significant risks and uncertainties,”” as per the company’s latest financial analysis. Share Syncora Settles Lawsuit Against Countrywide for $375M July 20, 2012 438 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-20 Abby Gregory
Sellers Continue to Lose High Ground Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Redfin Service Providers 2014-01-03 Tory Barringer January 3, 2014 427 Views Share Reports from “”Redfin””:http://www.redfin.com/ agents indicate the fourth quarter was a rough one for homeowners looking to sell.[IMAGE]The tech-powered brokerage released its latest “”quarterly survey””:http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-market-sentiment/2014/just-65-percent-of-redfin-agents-say-now-is-a-good-time-to-sell-down-from-72-percent-in-the-third-quarter.html#.UscBK_RDte of agents in its 22 markets across the nation. The findings indicate a continued shift in market balance: The number of agents saying now is a good time to sell fell 7 percentage points to 65 percent–the third drop in as many quarters–while the number saying now is a good time to buy edged up slightly to 56 percent.Asked about specific challenges, the majority of Redfin agents agreed that sellers are their own worst enemy right now. Sixty-three percent said the greatest problem sellers have is their unrealistic expectations about the value of their own homes, an uptick from 62 percent in Q3. The next biggest challenge was low inventory at 31 percent.Tight inventory was also a major source of frustration for buyers last quarter, with 87 percent of agents listing that as a common challenge. Next was the problem of elevated competition, though that share was down 14 points to 65 percent, reflecting the decline in bidding wars over the second half of the year.Facing these issues, 45 percent of Redfin agents said their buyers-to-be decided to put off their home search for the holidays. Those determined to stay in the game said they’ve had to make concessions on how much they’re willing to pay and which features they want.With mortgage rates expect to climb to 5 percent or higher this year, Redfin also asked agents how high interest rates would have to go before the housing market really starts to suffer. The majority–39 percent–said 5.5 percent is the magic number.””If rates reach 5.5 percent, we’ll start to lose entry-level buyers. The ripple effect will reach homes in almost every price point,”” said Redfin agent Jeff Bale, who operates in Portland. in Data
LRES Names EVP, Management Advisor Share LRES’ former chief investment officer (CIO) is now EVP and management advisor, the company announced.Alice Sorenson, who previously served as CIO at LRES for two years and as COO for four years, is now responsible for corporate strategic planning, cultivating prospective leads, and establishing new business opportunities for the California-based valuations and asset management services provider.”Alice’s new role at LRES is a strategic decision for LRES as the company continues to evolve over time,” said CEO Roger Beane. “Her industry knowledge and broad experience with large institutions is critical to LRES’ new phase of growth in the residential and commercial financial services industry.”Sorenson is a 40-year veteran in financial services, having served as senior manager of business development of a national accounting, tax, and business advisory firm prior to joining LRES. Prior to that, she served in executive leadership positions at financial organizations, including Master Financial Inc., Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Bank of America, and FarWest Savings.”During my career, I have been fortunate to play a constructive role developing and executing operations management and investment strategies to enable LRES to grow and prosper,” Sorenson said. “Now, I look forward to utilizing my industry connections fostered over the years to build the new business pipeline while applying my industry knowledge toward corporate strategic planning as its executive vice president and management advisor.” LRES Movers & Shakers 2014-07-22 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News, Uncategorized July 22, 2014 452 Views